Keywords: granular beds, in situ combustion, oil sands
The combustion of oil sand beds containing an axial fracture
The processes within simplified laboratory cylindrical beds of specially reconstituted oil sand during oil recovery are described. The beds contained a small diameter cylindrical axial passage of high permeability representing a fracture where hot vitiated air of known composition was fed steadily. The fuel sand cores tested contained either pure hydrocarbon or extracted oil off naturally occurring oil sands. It was shown that combustion appeared to have been sustained mainly by the oxidation of the light fuel fractions rather than by the coke deposits produced by the cracking reactions. Most of the burning took place, for the conditions examined, within the fracture rather than the main granular bed.